Setting expectations

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“I am mesmerised by my creative output. I am inspired by myself. I am in awe of my ability. I am humbled. I am so grateful for this gift, this opportunity. Tears of gratitude flow as I watch and listen to my soul speak to me / through me. This is me. This is what I love, this is my gift to myself. I feel at home & I can´t wait to explore more.” This was the beginning of my free writing, I felt my heart opening as I learn to love and accept myself and my abilities. The session was such a beautiful experience. Thank you, Michelle, for guiding me along this path.

Today’s process was once again an explorative, generative one, where I continue to build up a body of work (symbols, images, poems), which will inspire the process further in the weeks to come. As always, I started with a meditation and then lighting of the candle – love this ritual! Thereafter I read the poem from home – and underlined 3 lines, phrases, words or sections that feel most meaningful to me. I wrote these 3 phrases/ words onto 3 separate slips of paper:

Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light,
heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure.
The heaven’s river has drowned its banks
and the flood of joy is abroad.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

I turned all the cards face down, except the first card, read what is written on card 1. And then looked for an image from my collection that strongly resonates with this. Then, I found 2 other images from the magazines that resonate with what’s written on the card and placed these magazine images face down as well, under the card. I repeated the process for the other 2 phrases. Once I had my 9 images I was asked to create either 1 large collage or 3 small ones.

Initially, I felt a bit overwhelmed, at the thought of “so much work, so little time” – 3 collages or 1 big one, with 9 images! But as Michelle reminded me afterward in our call – firstly there is no “must / have to” I am allowed to only create one collage, if that´s what I feel the need for, I am in control, I own the process and I make the choices, as to what I can and can´t do. And then she reminded me that recognizing that I´m feeling overwhelmed, means I am learning to take care of myself and recognizes my needs ie. Instead of perceiving being overwhelmed as negative, change the thought pattern and perceive it as taking care of myself. It´s all about the process and not the end result. Those are magical words for me – challenging my belief, having worked in the advertising industry for over 2 decades, where it´s all about results and time pressure. This workshop and process, is a brilliant exercise in helping me change this behavioural pattern/belief system.

My inner critic sets expectations, puts on pressure. My inner child just plays, in wonder and awe. Lightness. Joy. I decided to create 3 collages today. In all 3 collages, there is a lightness and joy for life / being appearing / coming through. All of them different, and yet they harmonise.

  1. Is a practical, real, earth bound joy for life. I see myself as the photographer, close to and interacting with nature. The horses are curious, playful, the nudge me, help me. They are my subject and my guides.
  2. A gift from myself, my soul, to me. It is my soul emerging from the ocean, bringing me gifts. The children play with the(ir) gifts. The gift lets me fly, it is exhilarating, liberating, risky – I need to make sure I´m protected and that my parachute is in working order.
  3. This collage symbolises spirit – universe / God/ cosmic spirit & energy. I tore the image symbolising wings into two parts – opening it up so that the light can shine through. It radiates, fragments, break up and light the way. Where it breaks, there is light. An enlightened golden soul emerges. I am free.

After struggling with materials – acetone does not work with photographs, magazines printed on natural paper or photocopies on using inkjet printer. I will have to check if laser copies work with acetone or not. I am greatly enjoying working with pastels, a medium which I recall loving at varsity. I felt a bit rushed during the process today – but once again I learned a lot about myself and I learned to love myself, let go of judgments and honour the process over the result (sort of ;-). Note to myself – I like to have at least 30mins (vs 10 mins) at the end to tidy and journal. I really appreciated connecting with Michelle directly afterwards – she´s so supportive and gentle, so many helpful tips and words of wisdom. Namasté.

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